#FireIceFlash, week 7


The city was on fire tonight, another eternal flame set alight by the hands of those who have learned time after time that their voice means nothing. Two angels walked through the streets and contemplated what humanity deserved.

“I say let it all burn down. Tonight. In every city. As ye reap, so shall ye sow, and heavens above, how they have reaped.” Justice talked like that, like history was recording his words. As if humanity ever felt the words of Justice anymore.

“Now now. They haven’t all earned such pain.” Mercy paused. “But they are in such pain. We should do something, something to ease their suffering.” Her eyes, filled with unshed tears, were bright in the firelight.

“Burning them all would end their pain. Eventually.” Justice smiled his blood-red smile of retribution. “We haven’t done that in so long.”

Mercy stopped and thought for an eternity. “I can’t do that, but I think we can compromise. Let’s help those who cannot help themselves.”

And lo from the heavens came an imperceptible hissing, like air being let out of a balloon. And as the humans slowly lost oxygen, they all fell asleep. And the fires went out.


#FireIceFlash, week 6


Riding the Red Line into Heaven

The sky was dreary and the workday had been drearier. Lisa grimaced as she thought of what the salty slush was going to do to her boots, but as she looked around the train, she knew she was far from alone there. Her stop approached, and she braced herself for the chill and the gloom, trudging – there was no other word for it this time of year – the three block walk to her building, through the broken front door and up the stairs. Then she heard the barking, and the sun came out.


#ThursThreads, week 430


The sky was orange every day now. I remember when that was news, but now the whole world is on fire. Still, even in the end times, there is pleasure to be found.

I kissed her gently, first on the lips, then moving to whatever struck my fancy. And there was quite a lot to strike my fancy. So that took a while.

Afterward, I felt her tense up again. “Aren’t you worried about tomorrow?”

“Not when I’m with you.”

She shifted away from me, sat up. Her formerly red hair caught the sunlight and burst into flame once again. Gods, she was beautiful.

“How can you be so calm? We can’t get away, and the fires will be here by mid-day.”

“I did all my worrying back when this started. But I yelled and I donated and I marched and I fought and the hellmouth opened anyway. I’m too tired for that now.”

“Do you think they’ll really be okay?”

“As okay as anyone can be, in their underwater dome. They have oxygen, shielding from the sun, and all the plant life they can eat. Our grandkids are bright and self-sufficient. They’ve had to be. If there’s a tomorrow after tomorrow, they’ll be here to see it.”

“I know. It’s just. This isn’t what I dreamed of.”

“I did. You, and me, and a quiet place where no one could bother us. It’s ending a little sooner than ideal is all.”

I kissed her again. Nothing else mattered.


#FireIceFlash, week 4


The boy pointed his stick at the spot in the water where they’d find my body one year and one day from now. I didn’t know how I’d end up there – would I stumble drunkenly down the slope and pitch headfirst, hitting my head on a rock? Would I be shot in a drug deal gone bad, brought down by the coronavirus, felled by the randomness of fate? Not that it really mattered. I’d signed the contract in blood and my soul was destined to be in the hands of The Trickster.

He smirked. “Now that that’s out of the way, are you ready to see her?”

Of course I was. Bringing Lyndsay back to life was the reason behind everything I’d done – the incantations, the hunts for the right compounds, the search for the thin place between this world and the others.

And now she was here. I could smell her perfume. I turned toward the wind and saw her face for the first time since they’d closed her casket. But instead of a smile, all I could see was a feral snarl. With a roar, my daughter charged at me.

The Trickster roared with laughter.